Edinburgh Colonies

The colony houses of Edinburgh were built between 1850 and 1910 as homes for artisans and skilled working-class families by philanthropic model dwellings companies. The first development was the Pilrig Model Buildings, near Leith Walk. Later developments across the city were built by the Edinburgh Cooperative Building Company Limited, founded in 1861. The founders of this company were influenced by the Reverend Dr. James Begg and the Reverend Dr. Thomas Chalmers, ministers of the Free Church of Scotland, who campaigned to improve the housing conditions of the poor.

Often, we are asked to work on the colonies of Edinburgh. This can range from a few step repairs or a replacement landing to a complete restoration involving internal works and roofing.

Numerous challenges arise from working on these properties, from working in tight city centre locations, sourcing matching materials, communication with local authorities and planners and communication between tenants, residents and the public.

Related Case Studies